Senior Art Exhibits
Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time. Inaction is not an option. If we do nothing, humanity will die off. We already see the effects of our rapidly warming climate in our world today. In 2020 alone, we saw an increase in wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. The concentration of carbon in the atmosphere is at an all-time high in human history at 412 ppm. In August 2020, Death Valley reported the hottest temperature ever recorded. These instances will seem insignificant if we continue down the path we are on. If we continue on our destructive path humanity will cease to exist. We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, brought on by our own actions. However, if we act now, we can mitigate and perhaps even begin to repair the damage we have caused.
This series uses layered, laser-cut photographs of our natural world with text about the climate crisis burned into the images. I am looking to highlight the beauty of our planet and at the same time, visibly show what we are destroying. I am photographing the beauty and wonder of the planet and juxtaposing my photographs with text about the climate crisis. The text, all taken from factual sources such as the New York Times and scientific sources, like NASA, allows the viewer to learn more about the climate crisis. The images in each piece connect to a particular habitat, place, or issue. This series is meant to educate and encourage viewers to look deeper into the climate crisis.
I have always enjoyed nature and the outdoors. My natural impulse has been to photograph beautiful places. However, at the onset of the project, I was determined to talk about climate change and not simply show beauty. Artists of all sorts, from photographers to painters have attempted to showcase the beauty of nature and encourage people to care about the environment. I decided to use the shocking statistics and facts to raise awareness in the hope that viewers would further educate themselves on the issues. The reality of the climate crisis is that what we do now, whether we act or do not act, will decide the fate of humanity.
Everyone has a story to be told and their stories are significant. On a daily basis, we all have moments in our lives where we are interacting and interconnecting with each other. Feeling included in this diverse network of lives that construct our society, but at the same time conserving our individual uniqueness is what spawns’ new ideas and perspectives. The works in this series of drawings and paintings, called Geometric Conversations, deals with the representation of diversity and inclusion. I have created a visual language of colorful geometric shapes that overlap and interweave. The drawings are done with the use of colored pencil on paper and the paintings are done with acrylic paint on canvas.
The hard-edged geometric shapes represent our personal identities. The varied shapes are playfully placed to interweave and overlap with each other while creating a balanced harmonious environment. The work references our diverse similarities and differences while taking into consideration our distinct personal characteristics. The translucent paint quality conceptualizes the framework of intersectionality as it relates to people’s identities and their experiences alone and with others. The vibrant bold colors are a representation of my own Mexican heritage and embrace the traditions which make up my identity.
My aim of this work is to challenge the viewer to examine what it means to be truly diverse and inclusive. The acknowledgment of the intersecting shapes incorporates the idea that every one of us as an individual has had experiences of confronting discrimination and oppression. In creating these pieces, I want to bring about an awareness that although we are each different from one another, we can support, respect, value and empower each other. Each of our stories matters, and for this reason, the works are designed to be shown in whichever direction one chooses them to be displayed. Every viewer is free to experience the work how they choose and generate their own awareness of a diverse and inclusive society.
The series “2020” depicts real social and political events in a surreal but comprehensive way. If you were to ask anyone prior to 2020, their expectations for that year, I doubt they would mention anything that occurred. Yet, most know what has happened is very important to history. With Covid, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the contested election results, this year has become a turning point in the world and in this country.
I wanted to make this work to remember how I felt during this time. I believe some of the strongest pieces of art are made in challenging times and in the future become bittersweet reminders of our own history. I want to inform and connect with others and to express these thoughts and feelings through this series.
My idea of using Photoshop and having images that are unrealistic, exaggerated and leaning toward science fiction, is to epitomize the idea that at times these events have felt unreal or impossible, so it only made sense to execute these images in a similar fashion. I use stark white boxes in several images to show isolation, emotion and separation. I created all of my images in the studio out of sets, which allowed me a lot of control with details, color and props incorporated. I am sharing my own, my family and my friends' emotions during this process, making it personal.
I began photographing my family when I was young. I always loved being both behind and in front of the camera. My current series, titled “Pieces," will be presented this April. People around me inspire me everyday and I strive to showcase the beauty and complexity of everyday life, even while in a pandemic. I am inspired by photographers Mary Frey, Asheleigh Coleman, and Sarah Hoskins. My goal is to capture intimate moments of people that I love. Pieces will be exhibited as a salon-style presentation, with images of varying sizes. This series focused on the main aspects of my life, work, schooland friends, all while navigating through a global pandemic
Traditions like Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism grabbed my attention and held it as I worked through the range of liberal arts courses my English and philosophy degrees necessitated, as a student at Saint Joseph’s University. I had the opportunity to really dig into these philosophies, and as I did, I began to understand my art differently. Around the time that I was falling in love with ceramics and pottery, I was discovering a peculiar form of Buddhist aesthetics called Wabi-Sabi. As it turns out, Wabi-Sabi and ceramics are deeply and historically intertwined and I was quick to begin exploring the philosophy through my own work.
Traced back to 16th century Japan, Wabi-Sabi finds value and beauty in the imperfect. It praises things with rustic and non-uniform features in conscious resistance to our innate gravitation towards perfection. Ceramic pieces in the style of Wabi-Sabi, like traditional Japanese teacups, are visibly in a process of degradation and wear with the intention of representing the Zen ideals of nature, change, and individuality. I am currently exploring this combination of Wabi-Sabi and ceramics in my art minor capstone, where I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the forms and techniques of traditional Wabi-Sabi ceramics, while also developing my style and direction as a potter.
I love the idea of a process that naturally creates unique and unknown results. Entropy is a fundamental aspect of life and is a phenomenon that I embrace within my work. Everything that exists is subject to entropy and nothing ages without showing its effects - though somethings conceal these effects better than others. My aim is to create a body of work that relinquishes this struggle of appearances and perfection. Things have a fundamental tendency to change, to wear down. To hide from this fact is to hide from the world. My work is intended to stand as ceramic memento moris, each piece made unique and beautiful by its variances and imperfections. Authenticity is beautiful. My pieces are forthright and direct about their particularities and are intended to raise the questions like, “What are my disillusions?” “What am I resisting that is out of my control?” and “How can I be more authentic with myself and the world?”
I've created artwork that represents an honest representation of body image to raise awareness of self-idealism. My work is composed of two mediums both representing the importance of challenging normative beauty standards. The use of different skin tones shades throughout my prints and my ceramic works were created to promote uniqueness and to show the beauty within all women. This collection is a celebration of normalizing beauty standards that have lingered in our culture for decades. The constrained idea of beauty and perfection has affected thousands of people’s lives and myself included.
I have learned to accept and love my own body and reject the notion that fat is a flaw and embrace that women are beautiful despite what social media has conformed us to believe. Throughout my work, I want to show that the color of your skin and the shape of your body is something that should be praised and not rejected. There's beauty in curves, in complexions, in stretch marks, and in the “flaws”. I want my mediums to empower women to see their bodies in a way they have never before and especially in the aspects they are most insecure about. My work was created to give women the confidence to see themselves as something much more wonderful than what they have previously been told. It is time to normalize normal bodies.
I am a painter that focuses on painting abstract geometric shapes with bright and bold colors. I use acrylic paints on canvas with tape to portray these shapes and designs. I gravitate towards geometric painting and creating visually active compositions which lead the viewer's eye around the canvas without any static focal point. I am drawn to making abstract shapes because of the depth and amazing shapes that can be created with something as simple as tape. Color is a large part of each piece I make. I often choose colors that complement one another or create contrasts. I work intuitively breaking up shapes as I move around a canvas until I feel a sense of harmony and completion with the painting. I want the viewers of my paintings to be drawn to the vibrancy and activity in each piece and at the same time discover its complexity as they examine the work.
My current photo project is focused on highlighting the borders created by parks and their surrounding environments. I am interested in showing the interaction between various communities and the parks that are near them. I have documented different park locations that may be close to highways, on busy streets/communities, in low income areas, and in affluent neighborhoods that are located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I am framing each photo in both a wide and close up perspectives to ensure I capture the contrast that surrounds these spaces, highlighting the lines between natural and artificial. I have a sound element to this series to help support the idea of clashing boundaries. It is hard for individuals to imagine the situations of these parks, but the audio element provides more of an environmental context of how these boundaries affect the environment of each park. With this project I am to show the encroaching reach of humans and how they are polluting these areas visually and audibly.
With “Ocean Lives”, I am focusing on marine life and how they and their habitats are
threatened. Our oceans absorb most of the CO2 in our atmosphere. Due to this, our oceans are
becoming warmer, and many species are starting to perish. One consequence of this is coral
bleaching. Coral bleaching happens when the microorganisms that coral need to live start dying
due to warmer ocean temperatures. The coral starts losing their color, turning white and dying.
This takes habitats away from smaller marine life, making them vulnerable to predators and
unable to successfully reproduce. Another threat to marine life is humans. Sharks suffer a lot
due to shark finning, where fishermen catch them, cut their fins off, then throw them back to
die. I am shining a light on these issues using a combination of mediums, graphite, pastels, paints,
and interactive displays to further engage the audience. I am to bring awareness to these issues
affecting our oceans and marine life, and spark inspiration for action!
This series was inspired by my mom, family, friends, and community members who have been affected by cancer. Cancer does not affect just those who are diagnosed. It affects their family, friends, and community who all rally behind their loved ones while they fight for their life. My mom surviving breast cancer in 2005, melanoma in 2007, and uterine cancer in 2010 was not easy for my family. Not long ago, my brother-in-law battled thyroid cancer and this past summer a close family friend, Suz Barnes, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within the past 3 years, I have lost my grandmother to stomach cancer, my mom’s best friend, Diana Vincent, to breast cancer, and my dad’s best friend, Paul Keene, to brain cancer. All of these events have strengthened my faith and made me realize how much of an impact cancer has on people and their loved ones. My mom along with my other family and< friends who have battled cancer has always shown me how strong one person can be. When I was down they were still the ones cheering me up and telling me that everything was going to be alright.
All too often cancer is described in numbers. We are given facts during months like Breast Cancer awareness that tell us statistics such as how many people are diagnosed each year, but rarely are we shown the names and faces of those who are battling the disease with their unique journey. This project gave me the opportunity to let the strong warriors tell their individual stories. This group of people deserves a voice and for their journey to be heard. People fear going through what these individuals and their families have gone through. I am honored that the individuals up on this wall allowed me to listen to their stories and include their portraits in this project. Every single one of these people inspires me, their community, friends, family and fellow cancer warriors every single day.
This project allowed for to step outside my comfort zone and do studio photography. Managing the lighting with the studio was the biggest difficulty. The lighting was so vital in making sure that the subject’s face, as well as the color background, was well lit. The background color is based on what color cancer that the individual has/had (please see color guide below).
Breast Cancer Ovarian Prostate Uterine Leukemia Glioblastoma Stomach Melanoma Thyroid Colon Endometrial Lung (white) Neuroblastoma